Typing Skills Are Overrated

That is what my teenage kids are telling me when I complain about their two-finger typing style. Looks like keyboards, even the new and fancy “projected keyboards” could soon be a thing of the past.

It appears that my two favorite predictions which I have been telling my kids might be wrong after all.

  • Number one prediction:
    • “Without reasonable typing skills they will never make it through college and they will have problems in their jobs.”
  • Number two prediction:
    • “Thumbs will eventually evolve into a real finger because of all the crazy typing on our beloved cell phones.”

Looking at current research numbers, I guess I was wrong two for two and my kids are smarter after all.

Recent research suggests that voice recognition accuracy crossed the 95% mark in 2017, taking voice recognition from being a fancy fun thing without real purpose to being part of our everyday life. Another research  suggests that 40% of Millennials prefer to use voice instead of typing for most of their apps, even for purchases.

Watching my teenage kids, I would say the percentage of voice users for the next generation is even greater. The benefits of voice dictation go beyond simply not having to type, it also takes care of spelling for you. Voice recognition is especially handy if you try to text or write in a foreign language. My kids’ German is good enough to dictate a message to their grandparents, but unfortunately not good enough to type it.

Adding both benefits together, not having to train your thumbs to dance over the virtual keyboard with incredible accuracy plus not having to worry about how to spell, (let’s say those nasty, mile-long German nouns) I can see how voice will quickly win us all over.

Once we are all used to voice control and voice dictation, it is unlikely we will ever switch back to manual typing.

Bottom-line is, the keyboard and advanced thumb acrobatic will be a thing of past very soon.

Most aspects of voice dictation are taken care of by the platform itself. Mobile phones, tablets, personal computers and all other variations of devices allow for voice dictation today. You can talk to your favorite search engine on the browser as well as on the app, and most modern platforms allow to replace the keyboard with voice dictation in almost all cases.

So, voice comes for free, right?

No, I am afraid this is not true. Although modern platforms allow to voice dictate every input field, app or web page, it still makes the user click on input field after input field, dictating one piece of information at a time. This cumbersome approach will soon be looked at as low tech and as outdated as a typewriter looks to my kids today.

Going forward, we will most likely completely remove input fields, drop down menus, radio buttons and all the other wonderful things we created in the last thirty years. Instead, a natural, free-flowing conversation will replace all the controls of the past.

Very soon, we will talk to our devices like we would to someone on the phone today. We will likely speak full sentences, include more than one piece of information in a single statement and expect the device to identify all the pieces of information correctly.

For example, an airplane reservation will be a very different experience. Today, I start by typing one airport at the time, followed by finding dates on a calendar, then I get to specify the number of people, the class I want to travel and lastly how many layovers I would like to enjoy.

That entire list of parameters can be stated in one single voice command:

“I need a flight from Minneapolis to New York, leaving tomorrow morning, returning this week Friday, no layover, one person in coach class. “

And the response I will HEAR is:

“Sure, I have found 23 flight options for you. The price ranges from $230 to $564, the outbound flights leave between 6:30 AM and 4 PM, the return flight options on Friday leave New York between 8:25 AM and 7:30 PM. Take a look at the list of flights I found.”

With a single quick statement, I am done. I see my options, I will then either speak or click on the flights I want. Done!

However, this functionality will not come via a magic “catch all” app or smart browser. Such dialog is a level of customer service all companies will have to create specifically for their unique business.

“All aboard”, hop on the voice train, because it is already moving fast and it is picking up speed.

Speak2web can help you with this transition. We are specializing in helping companies embrace voice and create the experience of tomorrow already today.

Don’t be late to the party. Ask today about your very personal demo and intro to voice. Contact us to schedule your meeting with out experts. Contact Us Today

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